Lunar probe Chang-e-4 to land on the dark side of the moon


The Chang-e-4 lunar probe mission, named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, was launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang launch center in the southwest of the country. Image:

Whina has launched a rover aimed at the dark side of the moon, which will be a worldwide success if successful.

The rover was launched in a Long March 3B vehicle from the Xichang launch center in the southwest, around 2:23 am local time Saturday morning, or at 5:23 am Eastern Sunday Eastern Time.

Chang-e-4 is the latest mission in the Chinese lunar exploration program, after Chang-e-1 and Chang & e-2 reached lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010, and landing and exploration of Chang-e-3 in 2013.

The successful launch of the rover follows the launch in May 2018 of the Queqiao communications satellite ("Magpie Bridge") in lunar orbit to transmit data and communications between Earth and the opposite side of the moon, as there is no " line of sight "for direct communications.

According to state media, Chang & # 39; e-4 is being sent to the Aitken Basin region in the mountainous region of the lunar south pole, with the relatively smooth crater of Von Kármán as the planned landing site.

Artist rendering of the Chang & e3 landing module, released on August 15, 2018. Image provided by CASC.

The mission is one of the ambitious ambitions of the China-led military space program, including a super-heavy-duty vehicle of greater capacity than SpaceX and NASA, a reusable launch vehicle until 2021, a Mars rover, a permanently manned space station. and a lunar base.

The probe will carry a German-developed radiation instrument, the Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND), landing and ground cameras, and a low frequency (LFS) spectrometer, as well as a biosphere experiment to test respiration and photosynthesis in lunar surface. .

Like its predecessor, this rover will also carry a lunar penetrating radar capable of penetrating 500 meters below the surface of the thicker, older crust on the opposite side of the Moon, a Visible and Near Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) and Advanced Small Analyzer to Neutral (ASAN).

The launch of Chang & # 39; e-5 is planned for next year and the lunar module will collect samples to bring back to Earth.

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